Furnace buying guide: Plan ahead for the cooler months

Learn all the basics of the oven.

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The cold of winter requires a reliable and comfortable source of heat to make the spring happy. Fortunately, the market is inundated with options these days, especially in the world of ovens. To choose the right one for your home and needs, you need to know what to look for.

Before you start budgeting and purchasing, it is best to familiarize yourself with the different types of ovens. Each one gives you a different installation process and heating experience.

The four types of ovens

There are currently four different types of ovens on the market:

  • Electric
  • natural gas
  • oil
  • propane

Each type of furnace heats the air slightly differently and has different operating costs.

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Electric ovens

Electric ovens are often the cheapest of the four to buy and are easier to install and maintain. However, because they run entirely on electricity, they can be quite expensive to run.

Imagine an electric oven like a hair dryer or toaster. The oven draws cold air into a heat exchanger, where it is then heated by electrical heating elements. After heating, the warm air is channeled into your home.

While an electric stove costs more to run, the advantage is that it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide – making it safer for the environment and your family’s health.

Natural gas stoves

If you live near a natural gas pipeline, running a natural gas stove can be cheaper than an electric oven – especially if a natural gas pipeline already leads to your house.

A natural gas stove works by igniting natural gas in your stove’s burner. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger, which in turn heats the cold air that comes out of the ducts in your home. The warm air is then fed into your home by a fan through its duct system.

Natural gas stoves require a hood so that the exhaust gases can leave your home. The smoke pipe must be checked at least once a year to prevent toxic gases from entering your home.

A gas oven is more expensive to purchase than an electric oven, but because it uses natural gas as opposed to electricity, it is cheaper to operate. It is also more powerful than an electric oven because it can heat the air in the heat exchanger chamber more quickly.

Oil stoves

Oil stoves work similarly to natural gas stoves. Once activated, the furnace draws oil from the tank into a combustion chamber. Instead of being lit directly, however, it is first converted into mist and then sprayed onto a burner. Once ignited, air is drawn into a chamber near the burner where it is heated and piped back into the house.

Oil burns at a higher temperature than natural gas, which means it heats up homes faster. Be aware, however, that oil stoves require an oil tank, which is often buried near homes.

Propane stoves

Propane stoves also work much like a natural gas stove, except that they don’t require a vent. Instead, it is possible to simply install a direct fan next to it on an outside wall. This eliminates the need to have a chimney regularly inspected and cleaned.

However, while similar to natural gas, propane stoves are more efficient. The result is that you don’t have to burn as much propane to get the same amount of heat that you would get from a natural gas stove.

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Single stage ovens to modulating heat ovens: which is the best?

In addition to choosing between different fuel sources, you also need to consider how many stages you want your stove to have. There are currently three options in the market.

  • Single stage heat: Many older furnaces use what is known as a single-state heat process. With this type of stove there is only one flame of the size and it is either on or off. As for the thermostat, it’s not very accurate, which means it’s usually within a few degrees. Since it only has one flame setting, it will turn on and off repeatedly throughout the day when temperatures fluctuate.
  • Multi-stage heat: This guy has two sizes of flame that he can use. A smaller one for mild weather and a larger one for colder weather. Since it has two flame options, it is more precise than a single-stage heating oven.
  • Modulating warmth: This is the most accurate stove on the market as it can control the flame size to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat. It’s a constant source of heat that keeps your home’s temperature exactly where you want it.

A single stage thermostat is cheaper, while a modulating oven is the most expensive. When choosing, consider your budget and needs. Smaller, one-story houses do not require as much heating power as larger, multi-story houses. If your home is somewhere in the middle, a multi-level heating stove might be the perfect solution for you.

What is an AFUE Assessment?

AFUE stands for annualized fuel efficiency. An AFUE rating is how much heat is generated for every dollar spent. The higher a stove’s AFUE rating, the less the homeowner should spend on fuel.

Ideally, you want a stove with an AFUE rating in the 90s as these are the most fuel efficient stoves. Be aware, however, that ovens with this high AFUE rating are usually among the most expensive.

What does a new oven cost?

A new mid-range oven costs between $ 1,500 and $ 6,000 (for example, a Rheem oven that has an AFUE rating of 80% costs $ 1,488 plus installation). Opt for a high-end model with a higher AFUE rating and the cost can go as high as $ 10,000.

Next, you need to consider the installation cost, which should be around $ 2,000 without a discount.

Since this is such a large investment, you should also consider fuel and running costs before making a decision. This is especially important if you want to finance the purchase and have monthly payments (but you can always offset your energy bills with some new solar panels).


You also need to think about your ducts, vents, and more when considering buying a new oven.

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Supporting structures and hidden costs: chimneys, ducts, vents and humidifiers for the whole house


Your stove needs ducts to transfer heat into your home. If you live in a newer home, your home’s plumbing is likely already well-maintained. However, you still want a licensed HVAC technician to come to your home and test your home’s duct system. He may or may not handle an oven with greater blowing power.

If you’ve had problems with an older oven, your plumbing may be to blame. The technician can tell you if the piping has been properly installed, or if there are any leaks or blockages. If your duct system is damaged, it is unlikely that you will need to replace the entire system. Instead, you may only be able to replace the damaged parts.


Chimneys aren’t just for chimneys. You can also expel gases from a water heater or stove. When you buy a high efficiency stove, you may not even need a chimney. If not, you should have your chimney checked before installing your new stove. After that, you need to have it cleaned once a year.

Ventilation openings

We’re not referring to the air registers in each of your rooms that you can open or close. Instead, we are referring to the vents that direct smoke gases outside. If you change the type of oven you are using, you may need to replace your vents. Propane, oil, and natural gas all burn a little differently, so the material used in your outdoor fans may not be strong enough to withstand new temperatures.


Stoves dry out the air in the house, which is not good during cold and flu seasons. Sinus infections can result from inhaling too much dry air. To combat this, many homeowners are choosing to install oven humidifiers. The cost of an oven humidifier varies greatly depending on which brand and model you choose. You can spend anywhere from $ 200 to $ 1,600. It is also a valid option to have a single humidifier in each room.

Which one is right for you?

The best thing you can do yourself is to bring a licensed HVAC technician to your home. There they can address your concerns about your old heating system and give you their professional opinion on the best type of stove for your home. When you’re there, you might want to talk to them about yours too Cooling system, even. Window units are often the best choice, but sometimes there is room for an upgrade.

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